I was listening to a podcast today and the pastor was talking about a question that Jesus asked. He said Jesus asked over 100 questions. It got me wondering, what are some questions Jesus asked? So I’m going excavating … join me if you’d like.
In Matthew 12:34, Jesus asked the question: “How can you speak good things when you are evil (wicked)?” The Message version puts it like this, “How do you suppose what you say is worth anything when you are so foul-minded?” I think he would ask this same question of many people today, don’t you?
Let’s look at who he asked this question, the Pharisees. Who were these people? The Jewish Library says that they were the “spiritual father’s of modern Judaism.” What did these Pharisees believe? They believed in the Ten Commandments, there was life after death, God punished the wicked, and there would be a Messiah. Sound like anyone you know? In Hebrew, the word Pharisees means separatists, hmmm.
This group took the Ten Commandments, some of which they maintained very strictly, and sprinkled it with their own interpretations and added a few extra’s for good measure. Albert Barnes writes of these men, “In general, they were a corrupt, hypocritical, office-seeking, haughty class of men.”
Jesus called these men, “a brood of vipers.” Interestingly, John the Baptist referred to them in the same manner. I don’t know about you, but I think I’d start to wonder about myself when two “teachers” with large followings called me a viper!
Let’s look at what they had said when they had encountered Jesus before. First, they pointed out something that the disciples were supposedly doing wrong. “See there! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful and not permitted on the Sabbath. ” What is interesting is that in reply, Jesus asked them two questions, both of which started with, “Have you never read …?” Picture that, these men, who are strict adheres to what Moses passed down were being asked, “Haven’t you read?” lol I can’t imagine the insult they must have felt at that moment.
How many times do we look at something and say, ‘Hey, you can’t do that in church!’ or ‘We can’t do that because today is a holy day.’? Who decides these things? Or how many times have we tried to pass off our own thoughts or opinions of what is right or wrong onto someone else?
Then they asked him, “Is it lawful or allowable to cure people on the Sabbath days?” Somehow I don’t think they were really asking a question, do you? These were mean who knew that they knew the laws. They didn’t need anyone telling them the laws. Once again, Jesus answered with a question about whether they would rescue a sheep that had fallen into a hole. According to Matthew Henry, “No doubt they might do it, the fourth commandment allows it; they must do it, for a merciful man regardeth the life of his beast, and for their parts they would do it,” (See Proverbs 12:10) This is Jesus saying, “Well duhhh.” And then he heals the man. How cool is that?!
Now here’s what strikes me as so odd. They’ve pointed out and scolded the disciples for picking corn and eating it. Then they are shocked when Jesus heals a man’s hand. Why? Because it’s the Sabbath day! This day was commanded in the Ten Commandments they valued so highly. It was primarily a day of rest and spiritual enrichment. Moses told them when he gave them the Ten Commandments that this was a day to remember that God had saved them, that they were made free!
So what do these Pharisees do next? They “went out and held a consultation against Him, how they might do away with Him.” Roberts Word Pictures says, “By “destroy” (apolesōsin) they meant “kill.”” Sooo, On the Sabbath, it was not okay to pick an ear of corn and feed it to a man. And it was not okay to heal a man. But it was okay to plot to kill one? Oh wait, isn’t that also one of the Ten Commandments?
How easily we get caught up in our emotions sometimes. So much so that we act without thinking. We so easily toss aside our believes and our convictions to satisfy the craving of our emotions. Why? Jesus says, it’s because “out of the fullness (the overflow, the superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks.”
We can put on the nice clothes. We can go to church every weekend. We can know all the commandments, rules, and laws. We can strictly obey many of them. We can pray the longest prayers. But if our heart isn’t right, then at some point, our mouth is going to give us away.
Do we gossip about people? Do we use our mouths to curse? Do we purposely say things to hurt others? What is it our mouths are revealing about our hearts? What is it that we plot within our minds? What is it that our actions convey?
Have you really thought about the verses following all this? Take a look at verses 36 and 37:
But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak.
For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.
So now I ask you: Are you saying good things or bad things? Are your actions good ones or bad ones? What is really coming out of that heart of yours?
The only remedy is to ask Jesus into your heart and let him clean it out. If you want to know more CLICK HERE